Friday, 22 June 2018

cantril’s ladder

Princeton psychology professor Hadley Cantril (*1906 - †1969) made significant contributions to the field, looking into the applications in polling and propaganda and was in a way responsible for making political allegiance a contemporary defining trait—or at least a topic of discussion and amplification.
Studying in Münchin and Berlin in the 1930s and examining the panic that the 1938 Orson Welles’ broadcast of War of the Worlds as a radio drama caused, Cantril devoted his work into public opinion research, building on the work of George Gallop. Working through the seemingly paradoxical results he was discovering—particularly among the American polis—Cantril developed a gauge for self-anchoring, a cognitive bias (previously) that affect decision-making by relying too heavily on initial information at the cost of ignoring subsequent results, which is perniciously difficult to avoid.